A ‘regeneration’ scheme that needs to be watched…

Napier House and New Plymouth House in Rainham both scheduled for demolition

Havering Council have launched a £1billion Housing Regeneration Programme that will see 3,500 new homes built in the borough over the next 15 years: Borough’s homes set to undergo transformation as part of £1billion Regeneration Housing Programmehttp://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/borough-s-homes-set-to-undergo-transformation-as-part-of-1billion-regeneration-housing-programme-1-4984595

According to the above news item, the council have undertaken extensive consultation with tenants, leaseholders and freeholders in the areas scheduled for ‘regeneration’. Given the neglect of estates such as the one shown in the image above, it’s clear that action is needed but it has to be directed by the tenants and not the housing associations and private sector developers. A policy of neglect is always helpful for councils wanting to shed its obligations for providing social housing by forcing regeneration that always ends up breaking up communities and altering the demographics.

The two blocks shown above are what’s left of the Mardyke Estate, most of which was cleared away to make way for the troubled Orchard Village development: Building the slums of the futurehttps://southessexstirrer.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/building-the-slums-of-the-future/ So troubled that the residents are calling for the subsidiary housing association managing the development, Old Ford, to be brought back under the control of Havering Council: Residents call for council control of Old Ford housing association after ‘avalanche’ of problems at Orchard Village, Rainhamhttp://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/residents-call-for-council-control-of-old-ford-housing-association-after-avalanche-of-problems-at-orchard-village-rainham-1-4500973

While we fully sympathise with the plight of residents at Orchard Village, asking a council that’s only too keen on offloading its responsibilities onto housing association and private sector partners to take control of a housing development isn’t going to get them very far. When Havering Councils are using the services of Savills, a ‘global real estate services provider’ to help them find a suitable development partner, alarm bells should be starting to ring at a deafening volume.

From the experience of the housing activists we know in London, the involvement of the likes of Savills in the ‘regeneration’ process never ends well. So, this scheme in Havering is one we’ll be keeping a close eye on…


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